As technology evolves, more workers are allowed into telecommuting, thus; reaping the numerous benefits that come with it. However, sitting in a home office all day, without any kind of work mate interaction and water cooler conversations, may take its toll on one’s health and well-being. As most managers know, team building activities are useful for improving team dynamics, building trust, facilitating communication, and boosting teamwork. Here are 8 team building activities that will help your company build a team that is as productive as is focused:
Work Space Decorating Contest
Organize a virtual (desktop) or home office decorating contest. You don’t need an office or a cubicle to run a themed decoration contest. DIY contests are cheaper, and if you’re feeling generous, send your team members some supplies they’ll need. Ask them to take pictures then post it for everyone to see, or use video-conferencing so everyone can show off their creations. To get everyone involved, let them act as judges and vote for their favorites. Give out awards to the funniest and best effort.
Aside from project management tools, the Social Media can provide an excellent means for communication and collaboration. Create an exclusive Facebook group that is for your team members only, where they can post non-work-related photos, information, and other updates. Ask each team member to upload a few photos every week, describing how they spent their weekend. This gives them the opportunity to communicate on a personal level. Connecting co-workers on an entertainment level also increases engagement and productivity among them.
Host an Online Game
Challenge your work team to show off their gaming skills through a friendly competition. Choose a multiple-player online game that will encourage them to participate and strategize with their team mates. You can do this every Friday to prevent stress and burnout from the previous week’s work load. Aside from promoting camaraderie, it also promotes team leadership and sportsmanship.
Distribute Weekly Newsletters and Joke Emails
Keep your team members on the same page by distributing weekly updates and performance reviews. Don’t forget to recognize their contributions. Send out birthday cards virtually or through the mail. A newsletter offers some useful information that will help your team members shine and connect, while also building their essential skills. Encourage your team to provide honest feedback regarding key issues in your company. Add a little sense of humor by sending out lighthearted articles, comics, videos, photos and funny jokes. Break up the workday with some laughter to help reduce stress, improve blood flow, and even burn calories.
Eat Out or Hold Potlucks
Most remote teams don’t get the chance to meet personally, however, these may be possible for team mates who live in the same area. It may come as an effort to bring the team together, but meeting up and sharing some food can be a bridge in building a strong relationship between team members. A simple conversation between teammates can serve as a tool for better communication among members, which is essential for improved productivity.
Unlike online games, virtual charades will only require installation of video-conferencing programs like Skype or Google Hangouts. Furthermore, not all of your teammates may be interested in video games. Like all team building activities, it coerces your team members to shed their inhibitions, participate in solving problems, and contribute their strengths for the success of their teams. Best of all, they can do all these while having fun at the same time.
Having a new leader every week will allow your team members to demonstrate their own leadership skills. Management and leadership have never been easy jobs, but this opportunity will give you the chance to see how they can personally impact the company. People are more energized when they feel that their contributions matter. Team members might not always bump into each other, but assigning a different leader every once in a while encourage them to reach out.
Annual Team Building Trip and Vacation
As an employer or manager, it’s essential to understand the importance of taking the time off. There is nothing like creating the feeling of team spirit by going on trips with your team members. This may seem expensive, but the benefits that come along with it are considerable. It is important for employees to rest and relax, and come back to work feeling rejuvenated and more productive.
Taking employees out of their home office helps them bond, eliminate distractions, break down barriers, and have fun, all while improving communication, morale, productivity, and motivation at the same time. Organizing these events may be the hardest and most resource heavy activity for team building but it is definitely the most rewarding.